House (game)

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An 1883 German illustration of children playing house

House, also referred to as "playing house" or "play grown up", is a traditional game, a form of make believe where children or adults take on the roles of a nuclear family, which typically consists of a father, mother, a child/children, a baby, and a cat/dog.

Iranian "Mamy" game with a little girl playing the mother and a little doll in the role of her daughter

This game is most commonly played with children ages 3–5, and often with props (most Kindergartens and infant schools have a "kitchen area" with plastic food). The nature of the game usually attracts girls, but boys will sometimes play as well, usually with some reluctance. In one episode of Pee-wee's Playhouse, Pee-wee, Miss Yvonne, and several playhouse denizens play this game.

Every person assumes a role, and then they invent household scenarios in which everyone takes a part: getting food, doing chores, fixing things, going places, "making babies" (with varying degrees of realism), caring for the younger children, feeding the pets, welcoming the husband home from work, etc.

In other cultures[edit]

  • In Persian, the common term (خاله بازی or مامان بازی) means Mother play or Auntie play, highlighting the statistically important role played by girls in this game.
  • Similarly in Russian, the game is called играть в дочки-матери (to play daughters-and-mothers).

Remade versions[edit]

In some games, changes as to who plays which role are made during the duration of the game. In some versions, jobs are chosen, and sometimes additional roles as available as roommates and friends.

See also[edit]